Jan 24, 2011

Citizen Men's AT0200-05E Eco-Drive Chronograph Canvas Watch

Citizen Men's AT0200-05E Eco-Drive Chronograph Canvas Watch
"Great watch"

Saw this watch while searching on net for solar type watches. Was so tired of having to pay to get batteries. Found out about Citizen Eco-Drive and the wheels began turning. Ordered the watch originally from another retailer on Amazon who stated that the watch was in stock. Well it wasn't so I had to cancel the order. Amazon had the watch in stock so I got it from them. If ordering make sure you contact whatever or whoever is selling and find out if they have the watch. OK enough soapboxing...

The watch is spectacular. The face is large enough but not to big. The band feels great it is however a little on the smallish side. I currently wear it on the second to last hole and I do not have large wrists by any standard. But that is easily fixed by another band. (Really how much band tail do you want hanging? ) The chrono feature is cool and amuzes my kids when the reset button is pressed and the hand whizzes around to zero. The date window is unconventional but it so easily located. It is not in the way like other watches in the 3 hour spot. It is very military looking which is exactly what I was looking for. Citzen also has a 5 year warranty which is outstanding in the industry. I would highly recommend this or any Citzen Eco-Drive. Hope this helps.
Product Features

    * Ecologically friendly, light powered eco-drive Japanese-quartz movement; charges in natural sunlight or indoor light
    * Durable military green nylon strap
    * Date calendar feature
    * Luminous hands and hour/minute markers; compact brushed stainless steel case with polished bezel
    * Water-resistant to 330 feet (100 M)

Product Specifications
Watch Information
Brand Name:    Citizen
Model number:    AT0200-05E
Part Number:    AT0200-05E
Item Shape:    round
Dial window material type:    Mineral
Display Type:    analog
Clasp:    Buckle
Metal stamp:    no-metal-stamp
Case material:    stainless-steel
Case diameter:    41 millimeters
Case Thickness:    11 millimeters
Band material:    canvas
Band length:    mens
Band width:    21 millimeters
Band Color:    green
Dial color:    black
Bezel material:    stainless-steel
Bezel Function:    stationary
Calendar:    Date
item-weight:    10.40 Ounces
Movement:    japanese-quartz
Water resistant depth:    330 Feet
Warranty Type:    Contact seller of record


Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W3 Digital Camera

 Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W3 Digital Camera with 3.5-Inch LCD

Very interesting... NOT a gimmick!

Let me start by saying I'm not necessarily a 3d enthusiast, I wasn't all that impressed by Avatar in the theater... I'm not necessarily jumping on the 3d bandwagon because it seems to be the next big thing getting pushed by TV/display manufacturers. I am, however, a PHOTOGRAPHY enthusiast. I consider myself to be a fairly seasoned photographer -- I've got a wide variety of cameras and lenses, am members of some local photography clubs... Creative photography interests me the most. For example I have interest in things like vintage camera equipment, pinhole lenses, Lensbaby lenses, Holga cameras, etc... just all kinds of creative ways to capture things that are maybe outside of the norm.

So while I think of 3d as a gimmicky trend that has been revived by the Avatar movie, I'm also a creative photographer that was very intrigued when I heard about this camera. I bought the camera sight-unseen, basically thinking it was going to be a gimmick. However after seeing the pictures it produces I honestly, truly believe it is not a gimmick and 3d photography is going to be here to stay. It may take a while to catch on, but it's here to stay.

Once you experiment with the camera a bit you'll learn how to get the most of the 3d effect. Taking photos of things that are further away (such as landscapes, distant architecture/buildings where it's difficult to get a sense of depth), the effect is more subtle and less apparent. But taking photos of things that are reasonably close to you, and there are points of interest at different distances throughout the shot (such as a forest with trees at staggered distances away), the 3d effect is much more apparent and can be quite stunning. Either way, with a subtle 3d effect for things further away, or for a much more apparent 3d effect on things that are closer, it truly does add another dimension to your photography. You see things in the photos almost the way you do in real life.

Like all things this is just another creative tool to add to the toolkit. There are lenses for certain jobs, and there are cameras for certain jobs. The images this camera produces really have to be seen to be believed. I, as well as several others I have shown the images to, am really shocked at how well the 3d looks and am still trying to wrap my head around it and when I might want to use this new tool.
Here are my pros and cons:

- Reasonably compact for what it is. It's more compact than I expected. Have to keep in mind it is basically 2 cameras in 1. Most of the cameras I use (SLR's) are not nearly as compact as this so this really feels like a treat to carry around.
- Battery life in my experience has been excellent. I've seen other reviews say the battery life isn't good. I've found that not to be the case. I didn't even fully charge the battery it came with and it's lasted for hours of me messing around and testing the camera out.
- The 3d effect, when used appropriately, is really stunning.
- Camera boots up reasonably quick for a compact.
- Can easily switch between 2d/3d modes, can view 3d photos in 2d, etc.
- Can do some creative 2d photography -- having both lenses using different settings for 1 shot.

- You have to hold the camera in a somewhat unnatural way in order to keep fingers from getting into the shots. The lenses are both on the outer sides of the front of the camera. This is a trade-off that I completely understand as they have to have the lenses apart to get the 3d effect but also wanted to keep the camera compact.
- I've had poor results when using the Macro (close-up) functionality.
- Not a fault of the camera, but until 3d is widely adopted it will be difficult to share these photos with anyone the way they're meant to be seen.
- Prints are on the expensive side at $6.99 for a 5x7 print
- Prints are only available in 5x7. I really wish there was a larger variety of sizes available. I don't expect to get gallery-sized prints, but a little bigger than 5x7 would be nice.

So is the camera perfect? No. It's obviously a new technology and is only going to continue to get better. But for where it's at right now I am really thrilled with the camera overall and that's why I gave it 5 stars. This camera really does add a new dimension to photography that has sparked a creative bug inside of me that I haven't felt in a long time.

I've got a couple observations after having spent a few weeks with the camera, taken some video, AND I just got my first order of prints.

Picture quality - I, like many other reviewers, have been "wowed" by the way the 3d pictures look on the camera's built in screen. I will agree with that 100%, however, being critical about the picture quality after reviewing it on a PC, it's really not that great. Don't get me wrong, the 3d effect is absolutely fabulous, but don't be fooled by the results you see on the camera's tiny display -- this is essentially 2 mediocre cameras stuffed in to 1 body. I can't say enough how cool the 3d effect is but the images on their own are on-par with about any other cheap point & shoot digital.

Video - very impressive. I took some video from the top of a waterfall (looking down). Stunning.

Prints - This is one area where I think a lot of other reviewers have not yet covered. I ordered 3 prints. They only come in 5x7 size. I tried to order somewhat of a variety of types of shots, just to get an idea of how they look on paper. I had no idea what to expect. Let me start by saying the prints come on a really thick paper, and it has those ridges on it -- you know, kinda like those scratchy 3d things where you can turn them to see 2 different images. Not QUITE the same, but pretty similar. Just due to the nature of the paper it is printed on a lot of the detail can be lost. So that said, I got 3 prints. Portrait - decent. Close-up shot - not good. Nature shot - awesome. The nature shot I took was from a bridge overlooking a river, with trees and such overhanging the edge of the river. The 3d effect was quite pleasing and I am excited about ordering more prints for this type of shot. Now my sample is only 3 prints, but perhaps this advice will serve someone else well. The 3d effect on the camera doesn't quite turn out the same way on a print for all types of shots.

Product Features and Technical Details

Product Features

    * Capture high-resolution images in 2D and 3D
    * Record HD 3D movies (720p resolution); dual 10-megapixel CCD and lens system
    * 3.5-inch widescreen autostereoscopic LCD displays images and movies in 3D instantly, with no glasses required
    * mini-HDMI output jack offers easy connection to a compatible 3D HDTV; view images and movies instantly in 3D
    * Capture images and movies to SD/SDHC memory cards (not included)

Technical Details

    * Brand Name: Fuji
    * Model: FinePix Real 3D W3
    * Optical Sensor Resolution: 10 MP
    * Optical Sensor Technology: CCD
    * Optical zoom: 3 x
    * Maximum Aperture Range: F/3.7-4.2
    * Minimum focal length: 6.3 millimeters
    * Maximum focal length: 18.9 millimeters
    * Lens Type: Zoom lens
    * Optical Sensor Size: 1/2.3"
    * Included Flash Type: Built-in flash
    * Display Size: 3.500 inches
    * Light Sensitivity: ISO 100, ISO 800, ISO 400, ISO 200, ISO auto, ISO 1600
    * Image types: JPEG
    * Shooting Modes: Frame movie mode
    * Exposure Control Type: Beach, Night (tripod), Natural light, Snow, Anti-blur, Natural light & with flash, Landscape, Portrait mode, Night mode, Party/indoor, Underwater, Sports mode, Sunset
    * Width: 2.6 inches
    * Height: 1.1 inches
    * Weight: 0.51 pounds

Jan 20, 2011

Western Digital WD Elements 2 TB USB 2.0 Desktop External Hard Drive

Western Digital WD Elements 2 TB USB 2.0 Desktop External Hard Drive WDBAAU0020HBK-NESN

"Very good hard drive!"

I have enough technical knowledge to be certified as a TECH JUNKIE :).

I am a photographer too, so I have tons of Photos (about 160GB), Videos, Software, Movies and Documentaries. I was looking for a simple external hard drive without any backup software included, I am smart enough to do manual incremental backups with file tree structure intact (I use GOODSYNC to backup, its very simple and easy to use and free).

I have looked at many many external HDDs and narrowed down to two models "Samsung Story 1TB - very good one too" and this one (I wanted it to be cheap too - got this for $85 on [...]). I did not go with other WD models because of their annoying Backup Software.

Coming to the WD Elements 1TB: Its much smaller than I expected. It is dead silent, I had to touch it to convince myself that it was running, when I first turned it on. Its not too heavy either. The indicator light is placed at the rear, which is a very good thing (I find these LED's annoying, especially at night).

After I did the first setup, I copied 383GB of data (931GB was total space). It took about 4hr 47min, speed varied between 20MBps to 37MBps. This is pretty good speed for USB 2.0. It was just a bit warm (my old segate hard drive would be very very hot for this amount of data transfer).

I would recommend it to beginners or pros alike. I am very happy with this purchase!

After about three months of heavy usage, it never gave up on me. Its still dead silent and works flawlessly. It never got even warm!!

Product Features and Technical Details
Capacity: 2 TB
Product Features

    * Simply affordable
    * Easy to use USB 2.0

Technical Details

    * Brand Name: Western Digital
    * Model: WDBAAU0020HBK-NESN
    * Hard Disk Size: 2 TB
    * Warranty: 1 year warranty
    * Hardware Platform: PC, Mac
    * Hard Disk Description: External hard drive
    * Width: 4.9 inches
    * Depth: 8 inches
    * Height: 1.4 inches
    * Weight: 2.2 pounds

Razer Deathadder 3500

Razer Deathadder 3500 High Precision 3.5G Infrared Gaming Mouse

"Best Mouse Ever"

This is the upgraded version of the Razer DeathAdder. 3500 DPI instead of 1800 DPI. This is the main difference, although I believe the newer version has a gold plated USB connector and obviously different drivers for each model. Either way both models are identical in physical shape.

The arc of the mouse is by far the most comfortable I've ever used, in that it actually follows the curve of one's hand how it instinctively would grab a mouse. It is also a right handed mouse, sorry southpaws, which adds to the comfort and control of the mouse. I can't say I know what the mouse grip is made out of, but it is completely slip resistant and oil resistant/absorbent. The sides of the mouse are a hard plastic and between the teflon feet and light weight of the mouse there is almost no resistance to movement.

I upgraded from a Logitech Revolution wireless mouse and wireless mice, while convenient, can't compete with the accuracy and precision that a wired mouse provides. My old wireless mouse would lag and skip across the screen and often when closing a program it would accidentally close the window behind it as well, which I never quite figured out why it did that (I'm guessing radio interference?). With the DeathAdder, I have not had that problem once and every click I make is exactly where I expect it to be.

I played with a Logitech G9 and MX518 as well as the Razer Salmosa, which all felt like solid and accurate mice, but they lacked the feel the DeathAdder has. The technical specs are important, but it doesn't really matter how accurate a mouse is if it still isn't comfortable to use. In short, I'm pretty happy I went this way. However, the Razer Salmosa was a close second, but it just seemed like a simple version of the original 3G DeathAdder.

As for gaming I haven't had a whole lot of chances to test it out yet. I've played a bit of Left for Dead with it and after some getting used to and tweaking the settings (independent X and Y sensitivity, button assignemnt, acceleration, etc.) it is way easier to shoot hoards of zombies in the head. I also have played a bit of Fallout, and while the mouse is definately smoother, I can't say it has affected gameplay all that much. I've tried this mouse on my desktop and laptop (Vista and 7 respectively) and both operating systems seem to run the Razer software perfectly fine. Windows recognized the mouse immediately and it works fine with the windows drivers, but I highly recommend downloading the latest Razer drivers for maximum performance. The level of adjustment this mouse offers is wasted otherwise.

Other thoughts:
The blue lights on the mouse wheel and the glowing DeathAdder logo are pretty cool. I can see them becoming annoying after a while, but they are easy enough to turn off in the settings.

The DPI and Polling rates can be lowered from the 3500DPI and 1000ms if desired, but I only notice a decrease in accuracy and performance so I'm not sure why you would.

My only real complaint is the "On-The-Fly" sensitivity switch is on the bottom of the mouse. I'm not sure how on the fly that is if I'm playing a game, which is the only time I would need to use that feature. Ultimately, it's not that big of a deal, but it is kind of false advertising in my opinion.

I can't stress enough how form fitting this mouse is, not to mention that is looks pretty cool at the same time. Something about it just feels "right." Granted it took me a couple days to get used to it, but now I don't think I could go back. If you already have a Logitech G9 (or something similar) I can't say I'd tell you to go replace it right now, but if you are looking for an upgrade this is the way to go.


Product Features and Technical Details

Product Features

  • Ergonomic Right-Handed Design
  • 3500dpi Razer Precision 3.5G infrared sensor
  • 1000Hz Ultrapolling / 1ms response
  • 7 Foot Lightweight, Braided Fiber Cable
  • Gold-plated USB Connector

Technical Details

  • Brand Name: Razer
  • Model: RZ01-00151400-R3U1
  • Color Name: Black
  • Width: 6.40 inches
  • Height: 2.79 inches
  • Weight: 0.95 pounds



Jan 19, 2011

HP Pavilion dv6-3052nr

HP Pavilion dv6-3052nr 15.6-Inch Entertainment Laptop

"Great laptop for the price"

Pros: Processor and GPU are excellent. I have ran Star Craft 2 on ultra settings without any issues. WoW on ultra except for shadows and get roughly 45 FPS in Dalaran. Minimal bloatware only took about 10 mins to remove.
Its a beautiful machine. The case has some kind of artsy pattern on it.
loading times are low thanks to the 7200 RPM drive. other laptops in this price range didn't have this. I was able to copy the 18GB WoW from my main computer to this in about 4-5 mins (via ethernet cable not wireless).

Cons: the display resolution is a little low for the size. I've seen other laptops in this size range with superior displays. In spite of this, the resolution is worth the sacrifice in exchange for everything else being so powerful.
The touch pad is a bit strange. The buttons are part of the pad. This means that while your trying to click on something you can accidentally move the mouse, however the sensitivity is very good.

Product Features and Technical Details

Product Features

  • Intel Core i7-720QM processor 1.60 GHz with Turbo Boost Technology up to 2.80 GHz; 6 GB DDR3 System Memory (2 DIMM) - Max supported = 8 GB; 500 GB (7200 RPM) Hard Drive; Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • 15.6 Inch HD HP Brightview LED Display (1366x766); ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 Graphics with up to 4091 MB total graphics memory with 1 GB dedicated; SuperMulti 8X DVD±R/RW with Double Layer Support and Lightscribe
  • Brushed aluminum finish with the stream design in argento (silver); HP TrueVision HD Webcam with integrated digital microphone; 5-in-1 integrated Digital Media Reader
  • Integrated 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 connector); Wireless LAN 802.11b/g/n WLAN
  • 3 Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0; 1 HDMI; 1 eSATA + USB 2.0; 1 VGA (15-pin); 1 RJ -45 (LAN); 1 Headphone-out/Microphone-in combo jack
Processor, Memory, and Motherboard
  • Hardware Platform: Unknown
  • Processor: 1.6 hertz Intel Core i7
  • Number of Processors: 1
  • RAM: 6 GB
  • RAM Type: Unknown
Hard Drive
  • Size: 500 GB
  • Type: Unknown
  • Speed: 7200 rpm
Graphics and Display
  • Graphics RAM: 1000 MB
Ports and Connectivity
  • USB Ports: 4
Cases and Expandability
  • Size (LWH): 14.88 inches, 9.65 inches, 1.37 inches
  • Weight: 5.53 pounds
  • Battery Type: Lithium ion

Amazon Kindle

Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Wi-Fi, Graphite, 6" Display with New E Ink Pearl Technology

Amazon's  #1 bestseller and has the most 5-star reviews of any product on Amazon.
Worth the money. Not perfect, but very very good for start to finish novels in good light
The Kindle is my first e-ink reader. I own an iPad, an iPhone, and have owned a Windows-based phone in the past that I used as an ereader.

My overall impression of the device is good.

The good:
I'd honestly rather read linear (read from page one to the end, one page at a time) fiction from it than a book, because I can't always get comfortable with a book. Hardcovers are sometimes a bit heavy, and paperbacks don't always lie open easily. The Kindle is incredibly light and thin. I can hold it in one hand easily. The page turn buttons are conveniently located. Page-turns aren't instant, but they're probably quicker than turning a physical page in a printed book (there are just a lot more page-turns unless you choose a small font). The contrast is better than other ereaders I've seen. There is zero eye strain in good light. My eyesight isn't the greatest and I like being able to increase the font size and read without glasses. I love being able to browse the Kindle store and read samples before deciding to purchase. The "experimental" browser is surprisingly usable, but isn't great. It is useful for browsing wikipedia and blogs. The biggest drawback to the browser is the awkward pointer navigation, using the 5-way pad. It syncs your furthest read page over the internet so you can pick up where you left off using your iPhone or iPad.
The so-so:
The kindle store could use more categories and sorting options. You can't sort by "top rated," and there is no category for "alternate histories," for example. Finding a very-specific type of fiction relies on keyword searches, which don't do a great job. The wifi sometimes doesn't connect before it times-out. You rarely need the wifi, but it is annoying if you change a setting, answer "OK" to the prompt to connect, and the thing tells you it failed to connect two seconds later (the exact moment it indicates that it did finally connect, then you need to go back to update the setting again). Most settings don't require a connection, but it is a minor annoyance. Most of your time will be spent reading, and of course your books are stored on the device and a connection is not required. Part of me wishes I'd bought the 3G model, because the browser is good enough that having lifetime free 3G wireless would be worth the extra money. Magazines don't look very good and are not very easy to navigate. There is minor glare in some lighting conditions, mostly when a lamp is positioned behind the reader's head.

The bad:
The contrast is fair to poor in dim light. It is much easier to read a printed page in dim light. In good light, contrast is on par with a pulp paperback. In dim light it feels almost like reading from an old Palm Pilot (resolution is better than an old Palm, but contrast is bad in dim light). The screen is small enough that the frequency of page turns is pretty high. Even in good light, the light gray background is less pleasant than the eggshell background of a printed page. You must tell it to sync before you switch it off, if you expect the feature allowing you to pick up where you left off using other devices to work correctly. The copy protection prevents you from using the files on anything other than Kindle software or devices.
Vs iPad:
IPad is a lot better for magazines, reference materials, and illustrated materials. Kindle is worlds better for reading novels. IPad is pretty heavy, making it more difficult to hold in your hand or carry with you everywhere. Kindle is much more portable and easier to hold. IPad has some amazing children's books and magazines, which take advantage of its multimedia features. IPad is unreadable in sunlight and glare is bad in bright light. Kindle is as good as a printed page in bright light. Ipad serves as a creative tool, a computing tool, a gaming tool, and a communication tool. Kindle is only a novel machine. I don't regret buying either one of them. An iPad won't replace books, but a Kindle can, if the book is text-only.

I highly recommend this device at its new low price if you are a frequent reader of novels. I love my kindle. Just don't expect it to be more than it is. Leave the magazines and such to the tablet computers.